Monday, July 18, 2011

Maldives, Sri Lanka currency swap talks continue

Despite the apparent lull in discussions on a Maldives- Sri Lanka currency swap,a Maldivian minister said yesterday that it was continuing. The Maldives Economic Development Minister Mahmood Razee,said in Male that the monetary authorities of the two countries were working on the financial arrangement for a direct exchange between the Rufiya and Rupee.

When told that it was quite some time since President Mohammed Nasheed and President Mahinda Rajapaksa had discussed the currency swap,he declined to comment on the reasons for the delay,saying that “perhaps the two sides are working on the nitty gritty details.”

Nasheed,who was in Colombo last November to attend Rajapaksa’s second term swearing in ceremony,took the opportunity to propose the reciprocal currency system and subsequently expressed confidence about finalizing the arrangement,under which he had also sought a US$ 200 million credit line from the Sri Lankan government.

The aim of obtaining the credit facility,he said was to establish a framework for the currency exchange and not to use the money for anything as such.

Asked,about the status of trade and tourism exchanges between the two countries,Minister Razee said that there was great scope for improvement considering proximity,long standing bilateral relations and the end of military conflict in Sri Lanka. While admitting that there will be competition on both sides,he said there are many areas where they could work together for each others mutual benefit.


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